A Passion for Nonviolence

Jun 23, 2024

In just a few weeks, longtime activist, author, and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Father John Dear will spend the weekend at the Retreat and Conference Center leading a retreat dedicated to living life focused on peace, not violence. Fr. John has dedicated his life and work to the concept that Jesus was the greatest person of nonviolence in history. The weekend retreat, Following the Nonviolent Jesus will explore a spirituality of peace and nonviolence for ourselves, that we might do our part as faithful disciples to work for the abolition of war, poverty, racism, violence, nuclear weapons and environmental destruction, and welcome God’s reign of universal love and peace here on earth.


On his own blog, on JohnDear.org, he wrote about a faithful friend, Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki, the “Mother of the Spirituality of Nonviolence.” We encourage you to read the whole blog, but wanted to share a prayer Sr. Mary Lou wrote about nonviolence.


Mary Lou’s Prayer: 

I bow to the sacred in all creation. 

 May my spirit fill the world with beauty and wonder. May my mind seek truth with humility and openness. 

 May my heart forgive without limit. May my love for friend, enemy and outcast be without measure. May my needs be few and my living simple. 

 May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others. May my hands never harm a living being. May my steps stay on the journey of justice. 

 May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear of the powerful. May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is hungry. 

 May my life’s work be a passion for peace and nonviolence. May my soul rejoice in the present moment. 

 May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility. And may I risk reputation, comfort and security to bring this hope to the children. In the name of the God of peace, Amen. 


To register for Dr. John’s upcoming retreat, click here!